Hypoestes aristata is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized, rounded shrub with grey-green leaves that have lighter veins giving them a variegated look.
It bears abundant spikes that are densely packed with 2-lipped deep purple flowers with darker purple spots in the middle of winter, from March to August, when very little else is in flower.
The flowers attract butterflies and other insects to the garden which is a boon to the insect eating birds. Prune back severely after flowering to keep in shape and promote flowering the following season.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Plant with Leonotis leonurus for a stunning display of contrasting orange and purple. This variety is smaller and more compact than Hypoestes aristata.